Voice of the Council of Elders

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This document will be the initial definition of the Council of  OWS Elders.  As the council evolves this document may change,  it can expand and grow as we define ourselves and our specific contributions to the OWS Movement.

I envision this council to be similar to models used by traditional societies for thousands of years.  These models have baseline similarities that have served the people well.   I am expressing a certain set of tasks and looking for people who want to work in this manner.

I feel there is an ancient wisdom that our civilization has nearly bulldozed into oblivion.  But as long as the wind blows thru the trees, you will be able to hear the teachings.

The council was formed the weekend of Nov 19 & 20th 2011.

The voice of the council will be here in the documents section.  Various things may be discussed in the forum, but the focus of the council will be defined in this document.  As the administrator I have chosen a direction for this council and I am sailing this ship in that direction.  The basis of the council is holding Sacred Space, Mentoring,  Storytelling, Processing Grief, Cultural Modeling and Wisdomkeeping.   These elements will be actualized in a manner that may be similar to traditional societies or by a mutually agreed on process.

This Council also exists to assist in the mending of the Sacred Hoop of Life.  The races of mankind have mistreated each other for many generations.  Mankind is increasingly abusive of the Natural World.   We must work together to change many things.

This council can become active in numerous projects.  If there are people in the NYC area, it would be great to have an elder presence at the various meetings.  If you live in a different area, the tasks are the same.

The presence of a living elder invokes the elder archetype.  This is a very powerful energy that we must learn to work with, respect and honor.  As we start to work together, we will discuss our relationship with the various forces of creation and how we can best serve humanity.


Elder:  A person who has been in service to his or her community.  Someone who is familiar with the concepts of holding space, managing grief, cultural modeling, storytelling, celebration and mentoring.

Unified Voice:  When these words are used at the start of a statement, the statement has been agreed upon by the council as a whole.  To verify the accuracy of any such statement, please check on this website.

Sacred Space:  Sacred Space is better experienced than defined.  It  is a heart connection to Life. It is an inner peace that can be experienced in many ways. It will be described differently by different people as their experience of it will be different and the Space itself is usually changing. It is keeping all possibilities open. It is a gentle place. It includes gratitude and humility.


My personal journey has led to a study of the following Peace Principles.  I feel they are an excellent foundation for any culture.  These principles have a historical record as the basis for our democracy, they are from New York State as is the OWS Movement and they are very powerful.  A group of people following these principles can move mountains.


The Peace Principles

The Peace Principles have been handed down from Native American Elders.

These principles are a simple but profound basis for many Traditional Cultures.

Always Work for Peace,

Always Work for Unity,

& Always Carry a Good Message.

Peace in a Native American Language does not translate directly into English. In English, Peace is the absence of war. In a Native Language Peace meant something like a connection to the Sacred Oneness that animates All Life.  It is a positive energy that you consciously carry with you.

Unity is the commitment that allows consensus to work. If a group is committed to Unity, it implies  that the group will work on a task until the correct answer magically peculates out of the pot.  The time that this takes is worth the correct answer.  There is a space for all voices to be heard.  A person is willing to modify their ideas to fit within the group process.

Carrying a Good Message involves always coming from a positive place and not saying bad things about other people. No gossip. Issues between people are to be peacefully resolved, person to person with a moderator present if necessary.

Try these principles for a day”

Note: When the founding fathers signed the Constitution, a group of Native Elders told them: “By signing this document you are creating a place for evil to dine at your table.” The Elders knew that 51% majority rule is a recipe for disaster because it leaves 49% unhappy. It also creates a situation where the power can go back and forth between two parties and each party can blame the other for the problem while neither party can fix it. Consensus is an essential element of a successful organization.

Native American Traditions

Combed the grief from the tribe on a daily basis.”

They also constantly expressed their Gratitude for being on the Earth.


The Peace Principles are from oral traditions. There is one book “The White Roots of Peace” by Paul Wallace. You could google “The Great Law of Peace”. Other suggested general reading: “Ishmael” and “Beyond Civilization” by Daniel Quinn. “From Freedom to Slavery” by Gary Spence. “The Great Turning” by David Korten. “Collapse” and “Guns, Germs & Steel” by Jared Diamond. “The Third Millennium” by Ken Carey


Occasionally I write up a thought that comes to me.  I am taking the liberty of posting a few of them here:


“Consensus, a combination of power and grace”

The OWS Movement is building a foundation of mutually agreed on principles to guide us in the coming years. The heart of our movement is consensus, which can be used in differing ways. Everyone who has attended a meeting is moved by the power of consensus. We are all learning the freedom of having our voices heard and the grace of letting go of a personal agenda item for group unity. We are demonstrating the process to everyone who arrives. We are laying the foundation for a horizontal government structure that will replace the crumbling two party bureaucracy that is a poor excuse for any definition of democracy.

The flow of this movement is organic and free. We may seem totally incomprehensible to the rest of the world, but as we grow and our solidarity envelopes larger cultural structures, more and more folks will experience what we are experiencing. Look into your heart and speak what you feel. Express yourself, be heard, connect with this new energy that will not allow any more ‘business as usual’. Occupy and Live Free.

Jan 3, 2012 —    In my web wanderings in the Occupy literature I came across an interesting article.  I have forgotten the source.  It was about the process of self examination that is part of the experience of engaging in a movement like this.  I have found this to be true.  As I am exposed to new ideas and put thru the mill in various group meetings, I look at my reactions to these stimuli.  Because of my heart attachment to this movement, I have a real reason for personal change.  I am motivated to change my personal agendas and attitudes so this movement can succeed.

Jan 5, 2012  Another thought about inner work.  Perhaps this occupy movement is here now, because there are now enough people ready to do the inner work to make the movement successful.  Possibly you can only do so much meditation or yoga and then you have to go out into the real world and test yourself to see if you have actually overcome an inner barrier.  This movement is a great testing ground to see what kind of barriers you still have in place.

Jan 12, 2012  I presented the Peace Principles to a group of 30 people at the 16 Beaver Street Seminar.  Joseph and Tiokasin also talked about their traditional cultures.  In reflecting on that meeting, I realized that the movement is doing OK with the first 2 principles.  We are committed to Peace and we are using a consensus model to support our Solidarity.  I would suggest that our weakest link is with the Good Message principle.  Perhaps members of the group would reflect on this and consider having less gossip about other folks in the movement.  We are a very special group of people brought together to do some amazing work on this planet.  Lets be kind to each other.

January 31, 2012.  In response to a conversation in the V&G group about the role of Elders in the OWS I wrote the following email:

I would like to say a couple of things.

First: traditional societies were in place for thousands of years and they had alot of time to come up with a working culture.  We are trying to jump start something from scratch.  They had all kinds of cultural elements in place to support themselves and their elders.  Things like gratitude, respect, unity, peace, mentoring youth, etc.  They had people who evolved into elderhood by their service to the whole.  They had established relationships with each other and knew each other intimately.

We are a group of strangers brought together with heart energy, in the Year of the Dragon, 2012 on the Mayan Calendar in the middle of some major solar flares.  We are all feeling the need for change and we are committed to this OWS Movement.  We are putting our hearts on the line and our hearts are getting broken.  One of my elders said that when your heart is broken, the Creator will put it back together, stronger.  We are sailing a ship through a major storm, possibly the perfect storm.

We are all trained to be ‘rugged individuals’, with freedom to make the most of our life here on the Mother Earth.  We can follow almost any thread that we wish with our lives.  This is not a model of traditional living.  One of the core values was Unity.  Your family, your clan and your tribe came ahead of your personal desires.  People supported each other.  They did not have hydrocarbon slave labor to make their lives easy and facilitate massive separation.

I have heard numerous reference from people all over this movement about the value of establishing relationships.  This is an ancestral calling within humans.  We have separated ourselves from each other.  This movement is about reestablishing the human family system.  We as groups of strangers are tackling a problem that is insanely difficult.

First we have to get acquainted.  We have to learn where each others fault lines are.  We have to learn each others strong and weak points.  We have to establish trust with each other.  As the leading edge of this movement, we are some of the most anarchistic and radical thinking people on the planet.  Possibly the most difficult group to Unify.  Yes my friends, the Gods are Tricksters.

We have the challenge of changing our inner landscape to value each other and this movement more than we value ourselves.  We have the challenge of the New Millennium.  The challenge of a quantum shift in the way humanity occupies this planet.  We know this Earth is beyond the tipping point for stability in the environment.  We know that we have traveled here from distant stars for this event, to do this work.

Perhaps this movement will always be a ‘living document’.  Nature is a ‘living document’, change is part of the program.  We must weave a cultural basket to hold ourselves in a ‘living culture’.  As aspects of our emerging culture seem unworkable, we will find the ways to grow into more workable forms.  I read once that ours is a world of ‘frozen music matter’ that is waiting for us to sing it into existence.

Together we can do this thing,  Together we can change Tomorrow.


‘frozen music matter’ is a quote from  “The Third Millennium, Living in the Post Historic World” by Ken Carey


Feb 6, 2012
Here are three more posts I made in the OWS Vision & Goals group discussion:

#1.  Regarding a comment made that someone ‘didn’t envision their grandchildren to be hunters and gathers’.

The only way your grandchildren are not going to be hunter gathers is if you don’t have any grandchildren.

Case one – Western Civilization continues as is  =  disaster and the surviving humans live again as hunter gathers.

Case two – We invent a new civilization where 7 billion people are raised out of poverty into an equitable distribution of the earth’s resources  =  disaster and the surviving humans live again as hunter gathers.

Case three – We invent a way to reduce the population of the earth, (you don’t have kids or grandkids) and invent a sustainable society.

You people have to get out of the mind trap that western civilization and consumer oriented, hydrocarbon based living is sane.  This is not possible.  Especially for 7 billion people.  You also have this aversion to traditional living models that sustained humans in relative harmony and comfort for thousands of years.  It is not going backwards to live in a sustainable way, honoring the planet and making sacred connections to this physical space full of miracles.

“They will fix our problems”     BULLSHIT      “Technology will save us”    BULLSHIT     For the last 50 years we have been creating pending disasters at an increasing rate:  offshore oil fields,  nuke plants on fault lines, cities in hurricane zones etc.

We are all addicted to the comfort and pleasure of western living.  As addicts we are in TOTAL DENIAL of the consequences of our actions.  We will buy into any story that promises to keep our Titanic afloat.  The entire ‘Green Revolution’ is a bunch of hype to justify our continued rape of the planet.

As long as we recycle our coke cans we can drive an SUV.     INSANITY.      A 10% increase in efficiency is only going to delay the problem while there is a 10% increase in humans.  In fact a 50% increase in efficiency may not be enough to reverse the problems we face.

Everyone’s sensitivity is covered up by denial.  Sooner or later reality is going to kick our asses and we are going to be standing around asking ourselves ‘Why did this happen”?  Last year nobody anticipated a nuke disaster in Japan.  What are we not anticipating this year?


#2  In response to a comment about our ability to feed 7 billion people because our existing food distribution system is very wasteful

I must firmly disagree with you that we can feed the population with technology.

If you have a cage with mice and put in one pound of food a day the population will eventually stabilize at say 100 hungry mice.  If you put in two pounds of food a day, it will stabilize at 200 hungry mice.

We are doing the same thing with the ‘agricultural revolution’.  For every ‘advance’ in food production there is an increase in population to the point of starving people.  Until we have the social structures in place to control population growth we are doomed to the role of a cancerous growth running amok on the planet.

Also this technological agricultural revolution is based on massive use of chemicals and hydrocarbon fuels.  All of this automation is contributing to major issues such as ground water pollution, a huge part of the Gulf of Mexico being dead from the polluted water from the Mississippi River, global warming, genetic altering of food sources, collapse of fisheries worldwide,  etc.etc.etc.  This is some kind of cul-de-sac, zero sum game.  All in the name of dominion.  Once a culture gets the idea that humans have dominion over the planet, that culture is screwed.  It can take a long time but the result is guaranteed.

Let me tell you a story.  My father used to grow corn.  One day I noticed a small patch of corn that was 1 foot tall, while all the rest of the field was 4 feet tall, (late summer).  I asked my father why the small area had such stunted growth.  He said that little area did not get any fertilizer because the planter ran out of fertilizer in that spot and he did not go over it again to add the fertilizer.

Agricultural land all over this country can not produce anything without fertilizer.  THINK ABOUT THIS.  We have no idea of what the long term effect on the soil of massive applications of fertilizer will be.  Also weed killers are applied to every corn field in America so that NOTHING GROWS except corn.  Every corn field is an environmental disaster.  Every sacred being in the plant family that tries to grow on that land is poisoned to death.  This could be an analogy for the human population.  We are killing everything so only humans can grow on earth.

For my 66 years on this rock, I have been told that technology will save us.  I have a degree in Mechanical Engineering and I am telling you that technology is a disaster and it is going to suck us into some very dark places if we do not control this shit.  We do not have the social structures to manage technology.  Every aspect of our daily lives is adding to the problem.  We vote every time we buy gasoline or make a cell call.  We vote for the destruction of the planet.  What are the two biggest drugs in America?  Electricity and gasoline, and we are all junkies.  Our addiction to this stuff is our downfall.

This movement has alot of support from people who have lived in cities for multiple generations and who have been brain washed by TV for multiple generations and who have never deeply connected with Nature.  This leads to a bunch of baseline expectations that are not real and not sustainable.  Does anyone know how much fuel is used to heat and cool Manhattan each year?  Do you think this is sustainable?  Do you think this is justifiable?  These are difficult and scary things to ponder but either humanity gets it’s act together or your worst fears will be exceeded.

Many things have to start changing dramatically NOW.  We can hopefully manage this change or be consumed by it.


#3   In response to a series of well written points of view around the issue of violence and non violence.

I had another reflection on this discussion.

What are we being violent or non-violent about?  Are we trying to continue a society with the existing rates of consumption?  Do we just want to level out the playing field and take from the rich to give to the poor?  Chug along using the same amount of electricity and fossil fuels with the same number of hot showers, cars, coffee and calories?

If this is our goal then it doesn’t matter if we are violent or non-violent, because the end will be the same:  the destruction of the planets eco system.    And the end of whatever society we create.

Somehow we have to find some answers that are not obvious.  Even if the bankers and politicians were not greedy, the existing systems would still destroy the planet.  Eliminating greed is a step in the right direction, but it will not solve the fundamental problems.



Feb 9, 2012

In Response to a discussion in V&G:

I had a thought this morning that seems to fit in this thread.  There is an event going on here that we may not recognize.

We have found each other.

Thanks to this movement, we have found a group of brothers and sisters who have a similar inner spark as glows inside of each of us.  That inner spark is buried under multiple layers of different kinds of personalities and agendas, but it is the same inner spark.

Some of us have been waiting a long time for this inner spark or calling to appear in western culture.  For something to emerge in this world that we can relate to.  Something that gives our lives meaning and is part of the reason we manifested in this dimension.

So lets be gentle with each other, and lets release some of our attachment to the way ‘I think’ it should be done so ‘we’ can unite in solidarity.


3 Responses to “Voice of the Council of Elders”

  1. Robert Lee

    I am in full support of this document. In learning patience and acceptance of my relationship to other generations in OWS, elders have an opportunity simple be an elder. In a society that has reduced us all to a lowest common denominator, to return us to a resonant place for elders, and evolve forms or manners to elevate what wisdom we can muster, to reveal a different plateau than our mundane Monday to Friday secular urban merely rational selves pedestrian in. The culture OWS is moving towards has a particular manifestation that elders can fulfill, if we wish and envision this as a way for us to grow.